Columbus: Clifton Gorge

Watch the Little Miami River transform from calm to violent in a deep limestone chasm on this 5.2-mile dayhike in John Bryan State Park.
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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 4.2



Location: 39.7850494384766, -83.8638610839844

Head on the E-bound trail, down the stone stairs and around a prompt bend in the Little Miami River


Location: 39.7859268188477, -83.8610534667969

Turn R; cross footbridge and watch great blue herons float the calm currents


Location: 39.7855796813965, -83.8602981567383

Head L onto heavily wooded S bank, choked with oaks and the giant peeling trunks of sycamores


Location: 39.7891464233398, -83.8474578857422

Canyon walls constrict and grow taller, forcing the river to crash over man-sized boulders


Location: 39.7908706665039, -83.8410720825195

Cross bridge then R @ T onto a historic stagecoach route that once ran from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh


Location: 39.7931518554688, -83.8397521972656

A waterfall cascades roughly 55 ft., providing a gentle sparge for riverside Jack-in-the-pulpits and tri-petal snow trilliums


Location: 39.7959518432617, -83.8362426757812

R@ Y; flocks of geese typically swarm the hemlock-shaded southern slopes


Location: 39.797046661377, -83.835334777832

Steamboat Rock on L: Nicknamed for its rectangular underbelly and smokestack-shaped top


Location: 39.7992095947266, -83.8344879150391

Climb stairs above a raging gorge then veer L onto The Narrow's Trail along a cliff edge to Darnell's Leap, where a gutsy member of Daniel Boone's outfit escaped Indian pursuers by jumping the chasm's dizzy 22 ft. expanse


Location: 39.7974014282227, -83.829231262207

The roar of battling waters swooshes up the steep, tight walls; backtrack to car

Clifton Gorge

Location: 39.79931640625, -83.8350067138672

©Ohio Division of Natural Areas & Preserves

Little Miami River

Location: 39.7894668579102, -83.8446960449219

©Ohio Division of Natural Areas & Preserves